How often do you check your car? They should really be given a quick once over regularly, every few weeks ideally. This is true of all cars, but especially older models. And it is even more important to do some essential safety checks before a long journey. That is why kwik-fit.com have set up a #CarSafetyChecklist campaign.
Since it became part of the practical driving test to be able to demonstrate a basic understanding of vehicle safety a decade ago, most people should feel confident giving their car a basic check themselves. However it can also be helpful to take it in for a service periodically, to proactively avoid any potential issues before they become more costly – or dangerous.
Whilst researching, I came across a handy acronym to remember 6 key areas to check: FLOWER.
Don’t let your fuel run too low. Make sure you top up before a long journey, or at the very least when you pass the first petrol station along the start of journey. Too many people make the mistake of trusting a faulty fuel guage or simply underestimating how long it will take to get to the next services!
Make sure your lights are working. Give them a clean too if needed so they aren’t dimmed by dirt!
Ok, so flower does not have two ‘L’s. But I would also like to add that you need to check for leaks too. Condensation from the air con is normal but anything else needs investigating.
Don’t wait for the red oil warning light to come on – check it regularly!
Check your coolant level and screen wash.
Again, there might not be a double ‘W’ in flower but I am going to add another one regardless! Check your wipers too, especially in winter/ wetter months.
Ok, I am going for a triple W infact. This one should definitely go without saying, but incase it doesn’t; always make sure there are no warning lights on before any journey!
Ensure that the radiator’s electric cooling fan starts running when the engine gets hot by running the engine with the car stationary. Also make sure your battery isn’t too old and worn out, especially baring in mind that battery problems are the most common cause of roadside callouts.
Last but certainly not least; Check your tyres – pressure, tread and spare!
As well as doing the above safety checks, it is also helpful to have some essentials in your car too, especially for long journeys. Here is a list of handy items to keep in your vehicle…
- Recovery details
- Jump cables
- Warning triangle
- Phone charger
- Light/ torch
- Ice scraper
Do you have any other car safety tips? Let me know in comments!
*Disclosure: This post is written in collaboration with Kwik Fit.